The Classroom Learning Project: Its aims and methodology

Year: 1998

Author: Clarke, David

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

This paper reports a project in which multiple interpretive accounts of a common body of classroom data are integrated for the purpose of studying learning in classroom settings. Classroom research has been greatly assisted by the emergence of a variety of technologies to support both data collection and analysis. The Classroom Learning Project is a qualitative study of learning in classroom settings which aims to elaborate a constructivist model of situated learning. Videotaped classroom data are augmented by video-stimulated reconstructive accounts by students and teacher in interview. Fieldnotes and transcriptions of classroom and interview dialogue are integrated into a single text document time-tagged to the video record. This integrated data set is then analysed by an inter-disciplinary research team, who construct complementary accounts of the classroom events from distinct theoretical perspectives. The research process, whereby these complementary accounts are synthesised in a coherent portrayal of classroom learning, bears significant similarity to the negotiative learning processes that it seeks to model. This paper outlines some key aspects of this research approach and illustrates methodological points with preliminary research findings.